peace process is not the rst
attempt at solving the Kurdish issue peacefully. There have been multiple prior attempts to reach the same goal. However, four factors set the current process apart from previous trials and render the ground ripe for a solution: 1) transformation in the state’s understanding of the Kurdish issue, 2) termination of military-dominated tutelary and the concomitant rise of civilian politics, 3) the public’s increasing resistance to provocations, and 4) the perceived legitimacy of the solution’s parameters on both sides. Furthermore, changing regional dynamics resulting from the Syrian Crisis have been another compelling determinant that pushed Turkey to tackle the issue more earnestly. Yet these
factors are not sufcient to move
the process forward. It is only political and legal steps that can reinvigorate the process and push it to a next level.
Revisiting the Kurdish Peace Process: Facilitating Factors, the Regional Dimension, and Challenges Ahead
by Galip Dalay
March 4, 2014
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Despite a roiling summer o discon-tent, a sensational graf operation, and ensuing power struggle, urkey’s most important agenda item o the year continues to be the resolution process to bring the Kurdish issue to a peaceul conclusion through dialogue. Te recent process is not the ﬁrst attempt at solving the Kurdish issue peace-ully. Tere have been other attempts during the current Justice and Devel-opment Party (AKP) rule and prior to it. Yet, no other attempt has provoked the level o optimism more than that generated by the current peace process. For the ﬁrst time, peace with the Kurds seems to be within the reach o a political solution, despite all o the shortcomings and setbacks throughout the process. Four actors set the current process apart rom previous trials and render the ground ripe or a solution: 1) transormation in the state’s under-standing o the Kurdish issue, 2) termination o military-dominated tutelary regime and the concomitant rise o civilian politics, 3) the public’s increasing resistance to provocations, and 4) the perceived legitimacy o the solution’s parameters on both sides. Furthermore, the changing regional dynamics resulting rom the Syrian Crisis have been another compelling determinant pushing urkey to tackle the issue more earnestly.
State mentality in urkey, or a long time, had been epitomized in the poli-cies, approaches, and decisions o the National Security Council (NSC). Te NSC was dominated by the military and served as the most important platorm or deciding on issues o high politics. Prior to 2000, it also provided the military with the most conducive mechanism to impose its will on the civilian governments, as the NSC secretary-general had to be a military oﬃcer and the agenda o the NSC meetings were largely been set by mili-tary. O all topics, the NSC regarded the protection o the republic’s secular nature, its territorial integrity, and national unity as primary prerogatives. While any maniestation o Islamic identity and demands were deemed as posing a grave menace to the secular nature o the republic, the Kurds’ demands or greater cultural and political rights were considered threat-ening to the territorial integrity o the